OK, the Optical Drive selection was an afterthought, and so is this post.
I wasn't even sure I was going to go with an optical drive, because I already have a DVD reader in the old PC, and I have an USB Plextor DVD writer. So it's not critical.
I went to Newegg, loaded everything into my shopping cart, and decided at the last second to look through the optical drives. They were cheap enough, that I decided what the hey. I'm eager to send the order in, so I don't want to delay for extensive research.
A quick filter: What drives support LiteScribe technology. I'm not sure I will use LightScribe to burn artwork onto many disks, but I don't have that capability in any of my current machines, so it's a good excuse.
There are a few LiteScribe compatible drives, but the SAMSUNG drive stands out. It has a very good rating, and several of the positive forum entries appear to be by knowledable reviewers. The Newegg price is $37, so what the heck, there needs to be at least one impulse buy in a pc build project, doesn't there?